Tsunami-generating rock fall and landslide on the south coast of Nuussuaq, central West Greenland

Stig A. Schack Pedersen, Lotte Melchior Larsen, Trine Dahl-Jensen, Hans F. Jepsen, Gunver Krarup Pedersen, Tove Nielsen, Asger Ken Pedersen, Frants von Platen-Hallermund, Willy Weng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


During the afternoon of 21 November 2000 the village of Saqqaq in central West Greenland was hit by a series of giant waves. Ten small boats were destroyed, but luckily neither humans nor dogs were killed. The following day a police inspection by helicopter revealed that the giant waves were caused by a major landslide at Paatuut, c. 40 km north-west of Saqqaq on the south coast of Nuussuaq (Figs 1, 2). The landslide deposits were dark grey-brown in colour, in marked contrast to the snow-covered slopes, and protruded as a lobe into the Vaigat strait. Along the adjacent coastlines the snow had been washed off up to altitudes about 50 m a.s.l. and severe damage had been caused at the abandoned coal-mining town Qullissat on the opposite side of Vaigat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73–93
Number of pages21
JournalGeology of Greenland Survey Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2002

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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